Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

power list


From the Moscow Times

Power is measured by four criteria: the number of people whom the person exerts power over; the financial resources that the person controls, with a country’s gross domestic product used for heads of state; the number of spheres in which the person is influential; and the extent to which the person exercises his power.

Putin scored points in the latter criteria because, unlike IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, he “likes to throw his weight around by jailing oligarchs, invading neighboring countries and periodically cutting off Western Europe’s supply of natural gas,” Forbes said in an article accompanying the power list.

The magazine refers to Putin as “anti-Obama” for his dislike of change and “tsar, emperor and autocrat of all the Russians” — a sharp contrast to Medvedev, who is described as Putin’s “hand-picked, doe-eyed successor” who is facing an uphill battle after he “went Jerry Maguire” with recent liberal pronouncements. Forbes said Sechin outranked Medvedev because he is the “Kremlin oil man,” pushing natural resource deals on various continents.

The only other Russian on the list is Google co-founder Sergey Brin, ranked with his U.S. partner in fifth place.


1. U.S. President Barack Obama

2. Chinese President Hu Jintao

3. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

4. U.S. Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke

5. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page

6. Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu

7. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch

8. Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke

9. Saudi Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud

10. Microsoft founder Bill Gates

11. Pope Benedict XVI

born under the tsar...

Forbes is not the first Western magazine to note Putin’s power. While he was still president in 2007, Putin was named Time magazine’s person of the year in a feature article titled “A Tsar is Born.”

not a zero-sum game...

Obama Says U.S. Seeks to Build Stronger Ties to China


TOKYO — The United States is not threatened by a rising China, President Obama said Saturday, but will seek to strengthen its ties with Beijing even as it maintains close ties with traditional allies like Japan.

In a wide-ranging speech on his inaugural trip to Asia, Mr. Obama, as he often does, drew on his own personal background to reassure people on the fast-growing continent that even as the United States seems preoccupied with conflicts in the Middle East and other regions, it is increasingly “a nation of the Pacific.”

“I know there are many who question how the United States perceives China’s emergence,” Mr. Obama told an audience in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. But, he added, “in an interconnected world, power does not need to be a zero-sum game, and nations need not fear the success of another.”


see toon at top. Peace.

paying respects to his banker...

from the NYTChina’s Role as U.S. Lender Alters Dynamics for Obama


This article is by Helene Cooper, Michael Wines

and David E. Sanger.

When President Obama visits China for the first time on Sunday, he will, in many ways, be assuming the role of profligate spender coming to pay his respects to his banker.

That stark fact — China is the largest foreign lender to the United States — has changed the core of the relationship between the United States and the only country with a reasonable chance of challenging its status as the world’s sole superpower.

The result: unlike his immediate predecessors, who publicly pushed and prodded China to follow the Western model and become more open politically and economically, Mr. Obama will be spending less time exhorting Beijing and more time reassuring it.

see toon at top.